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August 12, 2012

Google Authorship for Dummies — A SPN Exclusive

When you do a Google search have you noticed that next to some search results there is a nice picture next to certain blog posts in the search engine results? You tend to want to click on those blog posts first don’t you? Actually, according to some tests, blog posts with pictures in the SERPS have a 30% higher click-through rate than posts without the pictures. The reason that you see the authors’ pictures next to their blog posts is because they have taken the time to establish authorship for their site with Google. I just managed to accomplish this amazing feat for my blog at and here is everything I did to get it done:

Add a Nice Head Shot of You to Your Google+ Profile Page

In order for your picture to show up in the SERPS you need to have an official picture of yourself on Google+. Log into your Google+ account and upload a recognizable head shot of yourself. It cannot be a picture of your cat. It has to be human and you. I have heard it helps if it is sized equally like 250 pixels by 250 pixels. I am not sure if this is true. I did it anyway.

Set All Your Google +’s to Public View

Log into your Google+ account and in your settings set it so that the public can see everything you Google+. (If you have not yet gotten started with Google+ here is an article which gets you started with the basics.

1. Log into your Google+ account

2. Click the edit profile button

3. There is a check box that says “Show this tab on your profile” check the box and then save settings. Now your plus Ones will be available for public visitors. That’s it! Thank you Blogs Trick for showing me this.

Create a Link From Within Google+ to Your Site

Log into your Google+ account, click edit profile, and at the bottom there is a place to add links to your websites. Add a link to your blog or website there.

Link Your Site to Your Google Plus Profile

You need to establish a relationship between your Google+ profile and your website. So you need a link back to your Google+ profile. I put the following in the head section of my blog: <link rel=”author” href=”” />

Notice the: link rel=”author” part of the code and then the link to my Google+ PERSONAL profile. This lets Google know that this site is mine and I am personally the author of the blog.

I have seen other blog posts suggest that you just put a Google+ badge to your profile on your site. You can create your own Google+ badge here. However, I actually went and looked at sites that had successfully acquired Google+ authorship and they had the code above in the head section of their websites. So I just did as they did. I believe in imitating what really works.

I also noticed they linked to their Google+ business page for that specific site in the head section of their site as well. If you have not yet set up a Google+ business page for your site you can learn how to do so here. (You can set up a separate Google+ business page for your website in addition to your personal profile with Google+)

They linked to their Google+ business page in the head section of their site with this code:

<link rel=”publisher” href=”” />

Notice the link rel=”publisher” code. This lets Google know that my website is the publisher. The link is to my Google+ business page for my site I do not think this step is mandatory, but I saw other successful sites adding a publisher link to their business page so I did the same.

Add A Link From Your “About Us” Page On Your Website To Your Personal Google+ Profile With Your Name And With The “rel=author me” Tag

You can use the “About Us” page of your blog or website for this. If you do not have such a page create one. Then add this link to your About You page:

<a href=”” rel=”me”>Matthew Meyer≶/a>

The link is to my personal Google+ profile and notice I hyperlink this to my name, exactly as on my Google+ personal profile with the rel=”me.” Yes I actually put the letters me. I am not saying to put your name there. Really put “me.” Of course, replace the link to my personal Google+ profile page with your Google+ profile page and change my name to yours.

Add a Verified <> to Your Google+ Account

Google mentions this on their official page so I guess it is important. Add an email address to your Google+ account and verify it. Many of us are probably using our email for our Google+ account but add an email from your own domain as well to tie your domain even closer to your Google+ profile.

Check to See if It Worked With Google Rich Snippets

Google has a free tool to help you see if you have successfully established authorship for your blog or website. Go here then type in the URL of your website. If you did everything correctly, you should see your picture next to your website. Note that sometimes it can take a few weeks for Google to update everything so you might not get immediate results.

This is everything I did and it worked! You can do a search for “ How To Set Up A Google+ Page For Beginners” and you will see my picture next to the blog post. Having your beautiful mug next to your post should definitely help your click through rates and maybe even your SEO. I would love to hear your comments, especially from you really smart people out there who might see something I have missed.

Matthew Meyer is the webmaster from The Free Ad Forum Internet Marketing Forum and Free Classified Ad Site as well as for Marketing Blog. You may follow him on Google+ here.